Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘iod2010

Flying Pigs, Hotel Room Tigers, And IOD 2010 Useful Resources

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I was joking this morning that there are little flying pigs flying across the Austin skyline this morning.

Cute little flying ballerina pigs, with tu-tu’s and all, flying right in front of the Austin downtown skyline.

I say that because of the situation in the American league of Major League Baseball: It’s mid-October, and the Texas Rangers, who have never made it past a division series, much less showed up at a league championship series, are 3-1 against the New York Yankees, the best baseball team that money can buy (you heard me), two of the last three games of which were won in the Bronx.

Mind you, any other time I’d be rooting for the Yankees.  But not this year.  Not when the Texas Rangers actually got their act together and took it on the road.

Game 5 is today, in the Bronx, and it’s the Yankees last chance.  I wish them well.

I also wish I had my act together for the Information on Demand event starting this Sunday in Vegas.

I’ve been studying up, reading through the conference materials and briefing books, as I have the bandwidth. But quite frankly, it’s a whole bunch of stuff to get one’s head around, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

So, I share your pain, but help is on its way.  In this blog post, I’m going to attempt to point you to a few tidbits I’ve found very helpful thus far, and expect to prove helpful on the ground in Vegas.

  1. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Conference Website — All roads lead back to this Rome.  Or all roads leave Vegas and go to Rome.  Or something like that.  Anyway, start here, especially if you’re lost.
  2. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Smart Site — This is the Website where you keep your schedule, and, hopefully, your sanity.  For registered attendees only. (Mobile version here).
  3. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Conference Guide — Look, even Columbus had a map.  Well, for at least some of the way.  If you’re a man like me, this guide will take you are.   Not as far as Columbus, but at least through most of the Mandalay Bay.
  4. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Agenda — Everybody needs an executive summary.  Life’s too short.  In fact, what are you doing reading this blog post, anyways? Okay, if you must. This is a top line “Agenda at a Glance.”  Be brief.
  5. The IBM Information on Demand Social Media Aggregator — This is a shameless plug to make sure you’re monitoring the firehose of information I’ll be contributing to the event. Me and a few thousand of my closest friends and colleagues. Consider this to be the downright virtual soul of IOD 2010.  You can’t be there in person?  Be there in spirit!  It’s all about your information management, soul, baby!  It’s Vegas. Get in the groove!…Okay, wait a minute, now, who took my velvet Elvis painting?!?
  6. IBM Information on Demand 2010 Pre-Conference Classes — My momma always told me, education is the one thing that nobody can ever take away from you.  Of course, that didn’t stop a bunch of punks from stealing my Ho-Ho’s on the playground during recess, but I digress.  These Sunday classes are intended to help you get your IOD experience off to a vigorous start and to keep you out of the casinos. Well, not completely out, because you have to sleep somewhere.  But…oh, go on, just get to class before I take your lunch money.
  7. IBM Information on Demand 2010 NetworkingIt’s okay, you don’t have to make any excuses.  We know this is really why you take a week off work, fly a couple thousand miles, and stay locked inside the Mandalay Bay biosphere day and night: To hang out and meet info management professionals from around the globe and to talk ACID (the DBMS rules, not the stuff from “Fear and Loathing”). For the Cognos-scenti, you have your own slate of networking, but be sure to mix it up with everybody — that’s why we invited you!

Okay.  Well, that’s about as comprehensive a list as I can find for now.  For “Lost and Found,” you’re entirely on your own.

I will say that this year, I, personally, plan on taking all those PDF files (the conference guide, the Expo guide, etc.), dropping them into Dropbox, and having them as resources available via the GoodReader app on my iPad.

So long as my iPad battery stays alive, I’ll never get lost at the Mandalay Bay again!

Finally…and I really don’t want to have to say this one twice…it is NOT NOT NOT appropriate to drug the tiger with “roofies” should you find said tiger in your bathroom after a long night of information management professional networking.

I know it’s tempting, but tigers get hangovers, too, and Mike Tyson ought not be anywhere near the scene, in any case.

Instead, shut the bathroom door, call security, and wait for the animal management professionals to arrive.

You’re an information management professional.  They do tigers, you do databases.

(If you have NO clue whatsoever to what that list bit was in reference to, you need to stop going to conferences (well, all but the IBM ones) and start having more cultural experiences, starting with the movies.

Four days and counting…

Written by turbotodd

October 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Making A List, Checking It Twice

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Dr. Atul Gawande's "Checklist Manifesto" makes a compelling argument for making that list and checking it twice, even in the most expert of white collar professions.

I’m a big fan of checklists.

I’ve been attempting to properly drink the Robert David Allen Getting Things Done Kool-Aid for a couple of  years now.

Inherently, I think knowledge workers like myself have to find improved ways of managing their time, projects, responsibilities, etc., and I’ve discovered that even the most basic and mundane checklist (whether or not you use GTD methodology) increases my productivity and helps me maintain my sanity.

At minimum, I feel as those it’s helpful in offsetting whatever Alzheimherish proclivities I may be developing.

But checklists aren’t just limited to personal productivity.  They’re also a great way to share and implement knowledge, often in the most dire and life-altering of circumstances.

Just ask Atul Gawande, author of The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, a 2009 tome on how checklists can assist even the most modern of professionals in its approach to providing a disciplined adherence to essential procedures “by ticking them off a list,” often preventing fatal mistakes and corner cutting.

As Publisher’s Weekly observed in its own review of the book, Gawande examined checklists across a wide range of industries, including aviation, construction, and investing, along with his own medical profession, and was able to demonstrate that even the most simply mandated checklists (hand washing in hospitals) dramatically reduced hospital-caused infections and other complications.

Though I’m all for the medical folks washing their hands to the extreme, particularly if I’m the one going under the knife, I’m even more excited to report that Dr. Gawande will be speaking at the upcoming IBM Information on Demand Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 24-28.

Dr. Gawande is a MacArthur fellow and a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, as well as a staff writer for The New Yorker. In his spare time, he’s also an assistant professor at Harvard Medical school and the Harvard School of Public Health.

In his own Amazon-published review of Gawande’s checklist approach to life, last year’s Information on Demand keynote speaker Malcolm Gladwell had this to say about the book:

Gawande begins by making a distinction between errors of ignorance (mistakes we make because we don’t know enough), and errors of ineptitude (mistakes we made because we don’t make proper use of what we know). Failure in the modern world, he writes, is really about the second of these errors, and he walks us through a series of examples from medicine showing how the routine tasks of surgeons have now become so incredibly complicated that mistakes of one kind or another are virtually inevitable: it’s just too easy for an otherwise competent doctor to miss a step, or forget to ask a key question or, in the stress and pressure of the moment, to fail to plan properly for every eventuality.

Gawande then visits with pilots and the people who build skyscrapers and comes back with a solution. Experts need checklists–literally–written guides that walk them through the key steps in any complex procedure. In the last section of the book, Gawande shows how his research team has taken this idea, developed a safe surgery checklist, and applied it around the world, with staggering success.

Even before I downloaded the first chapter of Gawande’s book on my iPad and started reading about the helpfulness of checklists, I’d already become an adherent.

Now, I would recommend you make your own list and include Dr. Gawande’s keynote talk at the top of yours for the 2010 Information on Demand conference.

In the meantime, you can learn more about Dr. Gawande via his “Annals of Medicine” column for The New Yorker here.

Written by turbotodd

September 29, 2010 at 6:00 am

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